Build-to-rent plan in for consent

An artist’s impression shows what Queenstown’s first build-to-rent development, proposed on land...
An artist’s impression shows what Queenstown’s first build-to-rent development, proposed on land at Arthurs Point, will look like. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Queenstown's first proposed build-to-rent proposal is in for resource consent.

Part-time Queenstowner Sir Robert Stewart, the founder and chair of SKOPE Industries, is seeking non-notified consent to build an apartment complex at Arthurs Point, comprising 49 residential units.

Sir Robert wants to develop the site known as ‘Pear Paddock’, between the Swiss Bel-Resort Coronet Peak Hotel and Coronet’s access road, to contain four blocks of medium-density residential apartments — two at the rear and two facing Arthurs Point Rd.

The front row of buildings would be three storeys high, with storage at ground level, while the rear row would be four storeys.

All would be held on the existing title and the one- and two-bedroom apartments would operate on a ‘build-to-rent’ basis, envisaged to provide accommodation for seasonal workers.

The consent application, prepared by Vivian + Espie, says Sir Robert intends to retain ownership of the development, but hopes to offer the apartments to large companies in the Whakatipu, for example, NZSki.

"Ideally, all units would be let to one company, with a typical let being for at least six months at a time.

"At the very least, it is envisaged that a company would let a large number of the 49 units."

Sir Robert, knighted for services to manufacturing in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours, tells Mountain Scene as an employer of a large number of staff he’s "conscious of the concerns that good employers have for the people that work for them".

"The opportunity was there, so that’s why I was looking at it."

The application says the build-to-rent idea’s an "innovative approach" to staff accommodation, and is considered to be a "significant advancement for housing diversity in the district", particularly given the ongoing rental housing crisis.

Noting there’s no minimum parking requirement in council’s proposed district plan, just 12 carparks are planned.

That’s because seasonal workers are less likely to own vehicles, and their transport to work’s usually managed by their employers.

Instead, Sir Robert’s focused on alternative transport.

Sixty-four bike parks are proposed in the ground floor storage spaces of each building, while there’s also a bus stop about 250 metres away.

Overall, the proposal "represents urban intensification in an existing urban area, it offers a new housing model to the district’s strained housing supply and contributes to the uptake of active and public transport, encouraging a mode shift," the application says.